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#2324365 - 07/25/11 11:39 AM Roland FP-4F Review
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 4666
I am a pianist and play a variety of Steinway, Yamaha, Baldwin and Mason & Hamlin pianos and Roland, Yamaha and Casio digital pianos on a daily basis . I have owned the the older FP-4 model for years and have recently purchased the newer FP-4F model. The piano sampling is improved with a better longer sustain, more legato response, a darker and fatter tone, seems more natural or "organic" sounding.... however the new FP-4F's action is very disappointing. It's sluggish and physically tiring to play. I can play Chopin Etudes on the old FP4 action with out straining but I become quickly tired on the over weighted new FP-4 action. It is a strain to play it for more than a few minutes. My wrist tendinitis came back after playing the FP-4F action for a for a few minutes. It feels stiff and resistant, the keys don't bounce back or move as fast as the easier to play FP-4 original action or as on my Mason & Hamlin grand or any of the acoustic pianos I usually I play for that matter.

Also, they have not included an editable Effects generator on the new FP-4F, whereas the old FP-4 had a sophisticated library of effects. Also, there is no volume balance control for when in Split Mode, so if the bass for the left hand is too loud or too soft you are stuck because there is absolutely no way to adjust the balance between the split sounds. They also did not include an On Off switch for the internal speakers.
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#2324374 - 07/25/11 12:13 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: Jazz+]
Michelle (ggurl) Offline
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Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 2610
Loc: near San Francisco
That's too bad, Jazz+, sorry you do not like the FP4F. I tried out the new action on the Roland RD300NX in a local store (they had that but not the FP4F, but same keybed as far as I can tell from research) and I did not like it one bit. Bottomed out very hard.

I recently bought a previous-generation FP4, as you probably know, and sadly, it seems to be incompatible with a previous injury. I am way beyond the acceptable period to return this board to the store I purchased it from, so I have it in the closet for now ... going to get strong again and try it when I am 100% pain-free and stable, and see if it still seems to be a problem (but will NOT play thru the pain this time, which is what I did last time and why I now have extended injury symptoms ... I should have known better). If it is I may be selling a barely used old FP4 on the used market ... frown
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#2324379 - 07/25/11 12:39 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: Michelle (ggurl)]
learjeff Offline
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Registered: 08/09/04
Posts: 7639
Loc: NC, USA
Be sure to let me know if you do!

I'll need to replace my MR76 before long; it has a few too many dodgy keys and isn't getting better (that's the price for taking it to blues jams).

A friend of mine plays a beat-to-hell FP4 through a Behringer 12" powered cabinet. I've heard stereo music through one of those and was very disappointed, yet the FP4 sounds decent. The FP4 also has audio in, which I like.

I'd assumed that the FP4-F would be everything and more, but evidently not. Otherwise it was a big contender. The last time I tried all the candidates, the FP7F was my favorite -- until I lifted it. Not sure the diffs between the 4F and 7F, but I was planning to spend more time on it, and was considering the 4F to be a major candidate.

How come they can't just make the perfect digital piano for ME?
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#2324385 - 07/25/11 12:47 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: learjeff]
mikecorbett Offline
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Registered: 01/14/06
Posts: 838
Loc: Ireland
FP4F and FP7F have very different actions. I too really enjoyed the FP7F, lovely feel. I have heard it is the same action as the RD700NX but I'm not convinced. My impression was that the RD700NX was even nicer again than the FP7f, though very similar.

I tried the RD300NX and did not like the action, so if its the same as the FP4f I would understand that. I now own a RD300GX which is different again but I preferred it to the 300NX.

I have recently bought a CP300 and I like its GH action coupled with the speakers for home use: its gonna be a bitch to lug to gigs though.

My favorite action out of everything I have ever tried is my trusty Yamaha KX88. Seriously good coupled with a GEM RPX!
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#2324392 - 07/25/11 01:00 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: Jazz+]
D-Bon Offline
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Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 7438
Loc: Brooklyn, NY
Jazz+, you might want to change the subject to "Roland FP-4F Review" to avoid confusion. More people will probably read it, lest they think it's an old thread that's been revived.

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#2324469 - 07/25/11 05:20 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: learjeff]
Michelle (ggurl) Offline
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Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 2610
Loc: near San Francisco
Originally Posted By: learjeff
Be sure to let me know if you do!

I'll need to replace my MR76 before long; it has a few too many dodgy keys and isn't getting better (that's the price for taking it to blues jams).

A friend of mine plays a beat-to-hell FP4 through a Behringer 12" powered cabinet. I've heard stereo music through one of those and was very disappointed, yet the FP4 sounds decent. The FP4 also has audio in, which I like.

I'd assumed that the FP4-F would be everything and more, but evidently not. Otherwise it was a big contender. The last time I tried all the candidates, the FP7F was my favorite -- until I lifted it. Not sure the diffs between the 4F and 7F, but I was planning to spend more time on it, and was considering the 4F to be a major candidate.

How come they can't just make the perfect digital piano for ME?


I will certainly let you know, Jeff.
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#2457964 - 12/23/12 04:30 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Jazz+]
thedodo Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 1
I have had some RSI and am looking for an electric piano with a good easy action, what would you recommend?

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#2457973 - 12/23/12 07:04 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: thedodo]
Marillion Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/04/05
Posts: 265
Loc: UK
I own an FP4-F and think it's the most underrated digital piano out there.

It's the perfect balance of weight/sound/price, and although the speakers aren't great they do a job for rehearsals or practice where sometimes you just want to take your headphones off. FWIW I also put the sound through my home stereo which improves it greatly. The Roland Supernatural piano sound is still the benchmark for me - I think even the latest Casio's (which are great value btw) fall a little short in terms of decays etc.

As for the much-discussed action above - that has not been a problem for me, it was just a matter of adjusting. It has not given me any problem in terms of aching or tendonitis etc.

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#2457992 - 12/23/12 08:28 AM Re: Roland FP-4F Review [Re: Marillion]
AnotherScott Offline
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Registered: 10/19/09
Posts: 6964
Originally Posted By: Marillion
I own an FP4-F and think it's the most underrated digital piano out there.

It's the perfect balance of weight/sound/price,

I found the FP-4F annoyingly sluggish on the return. I also seem to remember that you could not do a light thumbnail gliss on it, the keys won't go down enough to consistently trigger (an issue with some Fatar boards as well, though not necessarily a dealbreaker). I thought the older FP-4 was better (not great, but more playable to me), and I'm not sure, but I think I probably liked the feel of the FP-2 even better than that.

Originally Posted By: Marillion
The Roland Supernatural piano sound is still the benchmark for me - I think even the latest Casio's (which are great value btw) fall a little short in terms of decays etc.

For action, I would take the Casio PX-150/PX-350 over the FP-4F. But sound is another question.

Getting back to thedodo's question, in the lower price range, I'd look at the Casios. If you have a higher budget, I'd try a Yamaha CP5.

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#2458024 - 12/23/12 01:43 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: mikecorbett]
HSS Offline
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Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 421
Loc: Las Vegas NV
I also have a RD300GX and like its action better than the newer RD300NX. For me it plays faster and easier.

I believe that the RD300GX has the same as action as the FP4 and the RD300NX has the same action as the FP4F.

IMHO the RD300GX is underrated as a lightweight stage DP / controller.

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#2458026 - 12/23/12 01:58 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: HSS]
LX88 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1119
I have the RD300GX also and have been sticking with it.

The only thing that might have tempted me away was the Yamaha CP5, but not by much. I did a lot of A/B comparisons and I found both to be imperfect in different ways.

Over time I have come to appreciate the 300GX and will probably not switch until Yamaha gives us a lighter packaged version of the CP5 sample with a good Rhodes sound.

I have also found the 300GX Rhodes to be great. I can see possibly going to a module and using the 300GX as a controller, but I did try the new Roland Integra and did not care for either the Super Natural acoustics or the Rhodes in that..... sorry.

We will see if Yamaha comes out with anything new at NAMM.

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#2458306 - 12/25/12 11:51 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: LX88]
LX88 Offline
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Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1119
As far as recommending Casios, I know this isn't a Casio thread but I have to say I was somewhat disappointed in the PX-150 and the PX-350. So I am kind of sneaking this into a Roland thread.

I guess I must just be so used to Yamaha( I have a Nocturne at home, basically a CP-33) and the Roland Superior Grand in the RD 300GX that I can't quite come to terms with the new Casios. There is still a plunk quality in the midrange that reminds me of the Yamaha P-90, which are mostly long gone from what I can tell.

I wanted to like them, and wanted to support their price and weight point. But it just isn't quite getting it for me ( sorry Casio owners, Mike Martin etc.)And the electric piano sounds in the Casio sound very strange to me. I don't get it. Putting a better EP into the Casios could have put them over the top.

To me one of the more interesting new boards is the Yamaha P-35. OK, I know it is only 32 voice polyphony but I thought they did a very good job of voicing it. And unlike the P-105 , it also has midi outs. At a 15 percent discount the P-35 sells new for 375 dollars. I think it could be a very viable lightweight solution if you can come to terms with using a headphone out into an amplification source. The EP's in it are also fairly useless unfortunately.

But back to the FP-4F.... Actually I have never even seen one.

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#2458318 - 12/26/12 04:40 AM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: LX88]
earl the pearl Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 111
I have an older FP4 and would highly reccomend it. Action is fine. Gliss-no prob. A little lite on quality on board sounds especially organs. A bit heavy also 30+ lbs but otherwise no problems in 3 years of gigging.
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#2458329 - 12/26/12 06:14 AM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: earl the pearl]
CEB Offline
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Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 6447
I like the feel of the FP-7F, though touch is a little light. But that is just the way it is with digitals. People who buy digitals really do not want realistic actions for the most part. It seems the firmer a digital action is the more problems there are with sluggishness on the return. It must be difficult to simulate a nice firm action on a digital.

Compared to the competition the FP-7F's action may be the nicest piano thing from Roland I have tried since the RD-500. I liked the RD 500 until it started needing a hammer replacement.


Edited by CEB (12/26/12 06:21 AM)
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#2458390 - 12/26/12 10:26 AM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: CEB]
ADino Offline
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Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 1349
I have to agree w/Jazz+..I used to own an FP3..yea, the gold one. Miss that one all the time. I was recently invited to hear a pianist, so after my gig I beat it over there, lo n behold he was using an fp3 w/various modules. When asked to sit in, I immediately remembered just how much I loved the action and asked myself why in the hell I ever got rid of it. Havent been really happy w/any action bar the cp5 since..Jazz+. if u like the fp4, def keep it.

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#2458396 - 12/26/12 10:45 AM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: ADino]
Jazz+ Offline
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Registered: 05/15/04
Posts: 4666
Roland offered to replace the old clacking action and I let them. They put in something stiffer and now I get sore playing it.

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#2458484 - 12/26/12 06:43 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: Jazz+]
LX88 Offline
Platinum Member

Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1119
The FP3.... there is another one I have never seen.

And I haven't seen many FP4's either for that matter. There are mostly Guitar Centers around where I live, and mostly I see the latest Roland RD stuff.

Roland has sure used a lot of different actions, haven't they? I don't know why other makers haven't used the the FP4/ RD 300GX action. It sure is one of my favorites. I prefer it to the classic Yamaha action certainly. But I don't know much about it.

I lucked into my 300GX a couple years ago and was going to use it only as a controller. A wealthy guy who writes TV soundtracks practically gave it away in mint condition. Over time I have come to appreciate it more and more.

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#2458486 - 12/26/12 06:46 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: Jazz+]
kanker. Offline
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Originally Posted By: Jazz+
Roland offered to replace the old clacking action and I let them. They put in something stiffer and now I get sore playing it.
That sucks. A lot. Sorry to hear it man.
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#2458710 - 12/27/12 08:50 PM Re: Roland FP4 Review [Re: kanker.]
ADino Offline
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Registered: 12/14/06
Posts: 1349
May be time to sell it and look for another fp4. The thing about these models, fp3 and fp4, is that a lot of people who never take them out, purchased them. They bought them as home piano's as thats really the way they were marketed. Im actually going next week to look at an fp3 purchased as a home unit. Its supposedly never left the living room and noone in the house is a pianist perse. Not that theres anything wrong with that.

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